With whom do you learn?

With whom do you learn?

Do you collaborate with a group of teachers at your grade level?

Do you share and bounce ideas with others in your school, your building, your area?

Do you belong to a network of teachers who meet to exchange ideas and share practice?

Do you participate in voluntary reading and learning groups?

Have you been to informal ‘teachmeets’ organised by teachers for teachers?

Have you participated  in global online conferences?

Do you write your own blog to share your ideas, reflections and practice with other educators?

Do you participate in the global education conversation by reading and commenting on educational blogs?

Do you engage with other educators on Twitter?

A session with teachers yesterday on developing our class blogs,  highlighted ways we can learn together.

  • A group of teachers of different grade levels gathered together (voluntarily) to share ideas and learn together.
  • A  range of great ideas was crowd sourced via Twitter before the session, with contributions from educators around the globe.
  • At the last minute, David Mitchell offered to Skype in (at midnight!) from the UK to share his schools experiences with blogging.
  • David introduced the concept of Quadblogging, in which classes around the world are grouped together

I was reminded of one of the most powerful influences in the building of my online  PLN.

It was Kelly Tenkely‘s blogging alliance that first connected me with many other educational bloggers around the world.

  • The more I read other’s blogs, the more I wanted to find and read.
  • The more comments I began to get on my posts, the more I wanted to write and share.
  • I was exposed to different people, places and practice.
  • I began to engage with teachers and learners around the globe.
  • Connections were made, friendships were formed, ideas were exchanged.
  • The learning was addictive.

It seems to me that connecting our students via Quadblogging can have similar effects. It’s much more than what David describes on the website as ‘a leg up to an audience for your class/school blog’,  although that’s an important starting point. Writing for an authentic audience, receiving feedback from the world, reading what others write and responding to them are all undoubtedly valuable outcomes.

But it’s more than that.

With whom do your students learn?

Are they expected to spend a whole year engaging with the same group of  twenty or thirty students in your classroom?

There are so many ways we can help our students create their own personal learning networks.

Quadblogging is another way to extend the potential for learning beyond the classroom walls…

11 thoughts on “With whom do you learn?

  1. I recently added a teacher from Canada as administrator on our class blog so she could upload photos and information about her school. It occurred to me that 2 or more schools collaborating like this would be a powerful learning experience for my students. I think I have set one of my goals for 2012-13….Thanks Edna!

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  2. We have two fifth grade classes and we started the year with our own blogs – actually we started the year with PDF newsletters (Gasp!) and then switched to our own blogs. A couple of months ago, we switched to one blog, two administrators. So, so, so much better! I want to get into Quadblogging next year. It is on my ‘to do’ list! I would love to do another administrator in another school too. So much to do! Love, love, love it!

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  3. Yes, I think we made a mistake by insisting each teacher at a grade level have their own class blog. The rationale was that we wanted everyone on-board, experimenting, playing with possibilities, learning how to use the blogs. We thought if they shared blogs, one teacher would end up taking control and those less comfortable with technology wouldjust sit back. In trying to ensure ownership by all teachers, we sacrificed an opportunity for students to connect naturally across the grades. Not too late!!

    PS Our principal still insists on class newsletters as well…

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  4. Very interesting idea of having everyone on board with creating there on personal blog used for each class. This process is a positive reinforcement to learning by thinking outside of the box. The different avenues that can be taken from integrating technology in the classroom are limitless. Most important would be his/her ability to interact with other schools and institutions as a “guided road” if you will into the real world and adulthood.

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  5. The idea of Quadblogging has inspired me! Connecting around the globe is a great way to learn and share and great for those schools not equipped yet with the skills or tools for video conferencing. I have a goal that at least every school in our network will have one excited teacher join quadblog network. Thanks for the sharing, it is the highlight of many mornings.

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  6. Thanks for the comments, CCC and Marcello.
    The idea grabbed teachers at my school too. I love the fact that some are barely comfortable with their own blogs yet, but willing to jump in and give this a go, because they see how valuable it can be.

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